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Congress Mulls China's Networked Authoritarianism

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the taking-notes-for-our-version dept.

Censorship 156

eldavojohn writes "Rebecca MacKinnon tipped her hand about her congressional statements on China and how much Americans are invested in China's censorship, delivered today at a hearing on 'China's Information Control Practices and the Implications for the United States.' In an attempt to describe what China is pioneering, she coins the term 'networked authoritarianism.' Of most concern was Baidu, which has two Americans on its board of directors (out of five) as well as a lot of funding from American investors and mutual funds. From her testimony (PDF): 'As I have described in my testimony, the Chinese government has transferred much of the cost of censorship to the private sector. The American investment community has so far been willing to fund Chinese innovation in censorship technologies and systems without complaint or objection. Under such circumstances, Chinese industry leaders have little incentive and less encouragement to resist government demands that often contradict even China's own laws and constitution.' Is Congress genuinely concerned or are they just curious how they can make 'networked authoritarianism' work for them?"

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Congress Is Right (4, Insightful)

Haffner (1349071) | more than 4 years ago | (#32744840)

Oh man, I can't wait until we get networked authoritarianism too! That internet killswitch idea was a step in the right direction but this is so much better!

Re:Congress Is Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32744920)

Wow. That is one of the most leading questions on slashdot lately. Tabloid journalism at its finest.

Re:Congress Is Right (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#32744964)

The fact is that Western companies are making money by selling China technology to stomp on basic rights. We can dicker all day about what exactly that means, but what it boils down to is a combination of "we are just following orders" and "money trumps human rights". Greed and cowardice, the very pillars of modern corporatism.

Re:Congress Is Right (2, Insightful)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745452)

The fact is that Western companies are making money by selling China technology to stomp on basic rights. We can dicker all day about what exactly that means, but what it boils down to is a combination of "we are just following orders" and "money trumps human rights". Greed and cowardice, the very pillars of modern corporatism.

You fail to see the business model. American business sells the Chinese all our technology so they can convert it to a draconian system of repression and suppression, the American business will then sell the rights to the American system to the Chinese (hello Baidu, so long Google) with a killswitch!
A perfect scheme, total usurpation of the American way by foreign competition on the cheap. Wait until the bonuses come rolling in.

Re:Congress Is Right (3, Insightful)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745462)

There is nothing modern about greed, especially the corporate/government variety.

This continues to be the same fight through all of history between the "haves" and the "have nots". Those who have money and/or power doing as much as they can for as little as they can in an effort to make more money and gain more power. If they just happen to help other people make a living along the way, so be it. Sure, some do this to help their fellow man, but the vast majority do not have that as a primary focus or goal. For the majority, it is all about money and power.

The primary difference we have today is that of corporations replacing the role of governments of the past. Corporations span the world and have become the new empire while governments continue a downward spiral into meaninglessness. Expect a lot of years of fighting in this war.

Re:Congress Is Right (2, Interesting)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745750)

IIRC, when Putin seized the TV stations, he brought in an American company to manage them.

The President is constitutionally charged with making foreign policy. Congress is constitutionally charged with approving treaties and passing laws.

If you want it, they will put a stop to it. China may do it anyway themselves, but at least the US can stop its citizens directly from helping, and can put a huge, heavy hand on other countries and companies (especially ones that also do business in the US.)

Re:Congress Is Right (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745998)

Except that much of the executive and legislative branches are "owned" by corporations, foreign and domestic...

Re:Congress Is Right (3, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745782)

Governments are war machines. They don't care about anything else. Rights can be used to help win wars but the purpose of all national governments is to function as a war machine. If you care about rights then you should support the UN.

Re:Congress Is Right (2, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746052)

Governments are war machines. They don't care about anything else. Rights can be used to help win wars but the purpose of all national governments is to function as a war machine. If you care about rights then you should support the UN.

When the UN decides that giving a monopoly on force to governments is a bad idea, I might consider supporting them more than I do. Right now, they look like they just want to be a bigger government (and hence, by your definition, a bigger war machine).

Re:Congress Is Right (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746120)

Governments are war machines. They don't care about anything else. Rights can be used to help win wars but the purpose of all national governments is to function as a war machine. If you care about rights then you should support the UN.

When the UN decides that giving a monopoly on force to governments is a bad idea, I might consider supporting them more than I do. Right now, they look like they just want to be a bigger government (and hence, by your definition, a bigger war machine).

Thats a very good point. But the UN has no army so they aren't going to become a war machine anytime soon. The UN is more of a police agency combined with a charter. They don't really have power so nation states still control the UN and probably will for a long long time.

Re:Congress Is Right (2, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746400)

Thats a very good point. But the UN has no army so they aren't going to become a war machine anytime soon. The UN is more of a police agency combined with a charter. They don't really have power so nation states still control the UN and probably will for a long long time.

And this explains why I should support them?

Sorry, that they're a government wannabe who supports giving governments a monopoly on force doesn't really convince me of their value....

Note, by the way, that giving the UN a monopoly on force is not in my interests either....

so maybe it should have an army (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32747024)

the biggest

Do I have this right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32747740)

Do I have this right? You don't like the UN because it wants to have a monopoly on force yet you don't like the UN because it hasn't got any forces to enact this monopoly on force????

I think a better summation of your position is "I HATE THE UN!!!!!!".

Re:Congress Is Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32746116)

How exactly is the UN immune to your notion of how governments all function as war machines?

Re:Congress Is Right (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746212)

How exactly is the UN immune to your notion of how governments all function as war machines?

It's not. It's in the position the US government was in when the US government was still new. Because it's young it seems like it wont be corrupted. Also because the UN has no real competitors there is no real need to have war in the classical sense anymore. Every nation will have war to see who controls the UN.

Re:Congress Is Right (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747140)

The UN is so impotent that it's hard to describe it as a government. It's intentions certainly were, but other than in a few instances, it's just a hotel for diplomats.

Re:Congress Is Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32747524)

Modern MERCANTILE corporatism.

Any statement that ignores that corporations enable government and government enables corporations for both good and evil ignores that human nature/behavior as observed (not how you would LIKE it to be) exists everywhere humans are.

By pointing fingers at the Evil(TM) corporation (and yes...corporations do lots of Evil) as the source of majority Evil in the world it ignores the fundamental fact that PEOPLE are responsible for everything and PEOPLE abuse concentrated power wherever it is, Corporations AND Government.

Solution: there is none. Like I said, human nature is as it is observed and not what you would like it to be. A successful system that involves humans (in anything) must conceit this fact to have a snowball's chance in hell of doing anything good over whatever long term you think is necessary.

Distributing power structurally within a society is the only way to SLOW DOWN this trend (sorry, you can't stop it).

Re:Congress Is Right (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32745016)

I imagine that most of the the U.S. government, down to the city level, is just salavating over the Chinese system.

Re:Congress Is Right (1)

OldHawk777 (19923) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747730)

US/EU politicians and C*Os will make 'networked authoritarianism' work for them, because of religious-patriotic needs/fears of the clueless semi-illiterate many.

Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32744846)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER BITCHES ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

Storage (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32745018)

Dead Nigger Storage Inc is a successful business founded in 1994 by Toluca Lake, Los Angeles resident Jimmie Dimmick, after a misunderstanding with two acquaintances from the local underworld. In an interview made in 2004 with Pulp Magazine, Dimmick stated that the idea for his business originally came from his dealings with a mysterious "Mr Wolfe" several years previously.

Dead Nigger Storage Inc is publicly traded on the Nasdaq stock market under the symbol DEDNIG.

Business Overview

The business focuses on a simple service provision as the basis for their corporate offering, namely the creation of storage facilities specially built to store dead and/or decaying afro-americans. With offices in Alabama; Elko, Nevada; Georgia; Louisiana; Palmdale, California; and South Carolina, Dead Nigger Storage Inc now has more branches throughout the Confederate States of America than both KFC and Big Kahuna Burgers combined.

Originally run from Jimmie and Bonnie Dimmick's garage, the business' growth rate within the first few months of operating forced them into a rethink. In 1998, the Dimmicks purchased Monster Joe's Truck and Tow in Downtown Los Angeles, which has remained their base of operations to this day.

With the catchy friendly slogan of "Storing Dead Niggers is our business" Dead Nigger Storage Inc remains a market leader at the forefront of ethnic minority storage, despite the recent upsurge in the market for companies such as Jews on Ice and the Cracker Barrel.

Very recently, Dead Nigger Storage Inc has expanded into a chain with several branches outside of the United States. Though each branch outside the USA are largely similar to their American counterparts, most customers note a handful of "little differences". For example, in America one can store a decapitated Nigerian. In the Paris branch, however, one stores un Nigirié guillotin. In general, dead niggers are still called dead niggers, but over there they're called les dead niggers and corpse sizes are measured differently because of the metric system.

In 1999 Detroit became the largest Dead Nigger Storage facility in the western hemisphere.

Traditional Methods of Storing Dead Niggers

“You know what they preserve dead niggers with in Holland instead of synthetic petroleum based chemical preservatives? Mayonnaise.”
~ Vincent Vega on storing Dead Niggers

Many individuals have struggled with the issue of dead nigger storage, including Jefferson Davis and John C. Calhoun who favoured the time-attested methodology of dry suspension, a technique that preserved by hanging them in carefully controlled environments for up to 21 days.

Other techniques utilised include smoking, often over specially constructed firepits or pyres. Although this often provides a more pleasurable flavour and aroma, it often led to a complete burning of the subject.

Pulverization is often utilised, either through the use of sticks, or in more extreme case through "dragging", a technique thought to include a pick-up truck. Another practice designed to aid tenderization is referred to as "curbstomping".

Dead Nigger Storage in Popular Culture

Dead Nigger Storage is subtly referenced in 14 separate Quentin Tarantino movies including Reservoir Dogs and the two Kill Bill films. The company also has numerous placements with Tarantino's latin lover Robert Rodriguez' movies, including The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl.

English Murder Mystery Writer Agatha Christie, referenced the company in perhaps her most famous work, Ten Dead Negroes made into the 1957 film The Only Good Injun is a Dead Injun. Perhaps her most famous reference remains the Hercule Poirot "quote" "Sacre bleu! C'est un morte negro, non?" in The Murder of Michael Donald.

One of the main accusations of racism aimed at George Lucas over his Star Wars franchise was his portrayal of certain species along stereotypical lines. Famously, in the scene when Jar Jar Binks is fatally wounded in the head whilst riding in the back seat of Mace Windu's landspeeder, a small sign can be seen in the background stating "Dead Gungan Storage".

Re:Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32745566)

Looks like Dwarf Fortress would be an even more interesting game if it were niggers instead of dwarves. Shit's complicated.

Both (5, Insightful)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 4 years ago | (#32744954)

Is Congress genuinely concerned or are they just curious how they can make "networked authoritarianism" work for them?"

I thought it was pretty clear at this point, our elected officials are two-faced pricks, whining about freedom everywhere else while doing everything they can to ruin it at home to "protect children" or "stop tourists".

Re:Both (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745026)

"stop tourists"

So the Gulf oil spill was an inside job? Senator Robert Byrd threatened to talk, that's why he had to go. It's all starting to make sense now!

Re:Both (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745388)

Of course. This is the first major victory in the war on Tourism.

Re:Both (4, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745538)

"stop tourists"

So the Gulf oil spill was an inside job? Senator Robert Byrd threatened to talk, that's why he had to go. It's all starting to make sense now!

I don't have any evidence to support any of those conspiracies and neither do you. So why bring that up? To discredit me? Did I reveal too much of the truth?

This is the problem. We hide the truth to maintain a false reality. We maintain the false reality to keep young naive kids believing, hoping, having faith in government and it's power. Government does not exist to for any reason other than to gain power just as corporations only exist to profit. Accept it.

If you accept it you can still recognize that governments are essential. Let's just not kid ourselves and lie to ourselves to convince ourselves that our government is perfect, or that our government has some sort of divine ideology, or that it's anything more than an entity that was created for, designed for the sole purpose of winning wars. It's essentially a war machine.

I'm not laughing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32746118)

If you check, there's some rather *odd* "coincidences" with stock moves related to this entire incident, and our great friends, the champion of the "little people" out there around the planet, at goldman sachs, are right up there in the thick of it.

Re:Both (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#32748094)

Senator Robert Byrd threatened to talk, that's why he had to go.

You're cutting it kind of close in being "too soon" with a comment like that. It's barely been 22.4 years since Sen. Byrd passed away.

Government is all about winning at any cost. (4, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745368)

The US Government must win. Lives are on the line. If the US Government loses than many people protected by the US Government could be killed. The US Government therefore cares only about winning wars and battles. The easiest way to win is to maximize control over land, sea, air, information, human resources, etc.

I don't particularly like this fact but it's just how it is. Winning the war is all they care about and in some cases they don't even care about that. Winning is defined as winning militarily which means having the most power. This is not the same thing as having the most liberty or protecting the Constitution. Politics are about power distribution, war is about power distribution, money is about power distribution, and to win you must have might.

Re:Government is all about winning at any cost. (1)

SirVirtual (1802698) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747252)

"Winning the war is all they care about and in some cases they don't even care about that...." The drug war is a perfect example. The SAY they want to win but don't really care because if they DO win or make MJ legal, look at all the govm't employees that will be out of work. The US gov makes war because it helps corporations make money - that simple!

You have a very limited view point (1)

quax (19371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747492)

Western democratically elected governments have checks and balances put in place to prevent them from "being solely about war".

There is a reason why Hitler for instance put away with the Weimar republic before he engaged in war preparations.

Many of the numerous wars the US fights and fought since its inception are nothing but a testament to how much these checks and balances have been failing the US republic. To extrapolate from this example to all other governments is a fallacy.

But I give you that - if you limit yourself to dictatorships and absolute monarchies you're statement about these forms of governments being primarily about war is generally true.

Re:You have a very limited view point (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747796)

Western democratically elected governments have checks and balances put in place to prevent them from "being solely about war".

There is a reason why Hitler for instance put away with the Weimar republic before he engaged in war preparations.

Many of the numerous wars the US fights and fought since its inception are nothing but a testament to how much these checks and balances have been failing the US republic. To extrapolate from this example to all other governments is a fallacy.

But I give you that - if you limit yourself to dictatorships and absolute monarchies you're statement about these forms of governments being primarily about war is generally true.

If there were checks and balances where is the check and balance on tortures? On secret prisons? On assassinations? There are no "human rights" and there are no "checks and balances." The US government is a war machine whether it's a Republic or something else. It doesn't matter who you vote for, losing is never going to be an option and national security trumps all concerns.

You can have a Republic or even a Democracy and the military still is going to claim it needs to do certain things to win the war or in the interest of national security. This national security clause trumps everything else and it's like that in all governments that last.

Re:Government is all about winning at any cost. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32748164)

Hello.. "Government" is defined in the constitution and the bill of rights as " we the people" . When "we the people " and "Government" become two separate entities then the Constitution demands for revolution. Enough said.

Re:Both (1)

watermark (913726) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745496)

Think of the children, stop the tourists with their fancy nikons.

They are concerned about China's influence. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745748)

Chinese influence around the globe concerns them. If China can control information in China then the USA can't control information in China. It's a matter of which country has the control not a matter of whether one country or another believes in having it. They both want it and are fighting over who controls information just as they fight over who controls land, sea, air, money, and everything else. And that is what governments were invented for.

Governments are war machines.

Re:Both (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746532)

"stop tourists"

Yes, lets stop the tourist scourge. (?)

Re:Both (1)

fishexe (168879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747044)

I thought it was pretty clear at this point, our elected officials are two-faced pricks, whining about freedom everywhere else while doing everything they can to ruin it at home to "protect children" or "stop tourists".

Either you mean "stop terrorists", or your profound logic went way over my head.

"Hands on is a must". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32745040)

Now, they figure it out!

in this thread (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745238)

will be a bunch of whines about their government selling out its principles to corporate influence, and how nothing can stop chinese policy, and this is our future, and we live in a corporatocracy...

and every single person making that comment, modding that comment up, or reading and nodding their heads ARE PART OF THE FUCKING PROBLEM

believe the world can be better. believe it. but if you only have that same tired easy typical empty cynicism that things are only getting worse, or that none of this situation can be changed YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM

yes, corporations and authoritarianism threaten your freedoms. the only question is: what the fuck are YOU going to do about it? if it is nothing but whine and ACCEPT THE STATUS QUO, then you are part of the fucking problem with what is wrong with this world. YOU ARE

there will always be threats to liberty and freedom. always, forever more. the existence of your liberties is a constant maintenance problem, forever. it is never, and never was, a concept that is fought for once, and then never worried about again. so now it falls on your shoulders form previous generations who actually fought for the legal status quo you enjoy. what are you fucking going to do about it?

the only question as to how far threats to your freedom goes is how far those who wish to defend the notion of liberty will push back. but if you don't push back, you just fucking whine and complain and accept with the typical lazy easy pessism and cynicism, and you want to know where your freedom went,

look in the fucking mirror

Re:in this thread (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32745444)

So I guess what YOU decided to DO about the problem is whine and bitch about the people who whine and bitch about the problem? That's definitely a huge step up over whining and bitching about the problem, although it falls significantly short of what I've decided to do about it, which is whine and bitch about the people who whine and bitch about the people who whine and bitch about the problem. Don't worry though, pretty soon someone will start whining and bitching about my whining and bitching, and as soon as someone starts whining and bitching about them, we should, I believe, have ourselves a solution.

Re:in this thread (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746614)

Spot on. Further, I think that the privatization of this whining and bitching is at fault. We need to create a United States Department of Whining and Bitching at the cabinet level, with a Secretary of Whining and Bitching reporting to the President about the current status of whining and bitching in the nation at large. Only when whining and bitching is being actively ignored at the highest levels will those hypocritical fucktards who whine and bitch about others who whine and bitch finally be satisfied.

Governments don't have principles. (3, Interesting)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745480)

Governments have military objectives. These objectives could be to secure the middle east. To win the war in Afganastan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan etc. To protect Isreal. To isolate and defeat North Korea. To beat the Soviets.

It has nothing to do with principles. Principles are useful to help you win. Principles are a tactic, a means to an end rather than an end in itself. The only principle is to win. Winning means to protection national security. To maintain super power status. To protect the national interest. This usually means to control global resources, to control information, to control land, sea, air, and to maintain control over all assets.

It's fine if the government thinks this way but it's not right for the government to lie to it's own people, even it's own soldiers about why they fight. It's only the exceptionally smart or exceptionally experienced who figure out how it really works. It's not about principles and all about power. Nationalist vs Nationalist is what it's about. The US Nation against the Russian or Iran or North Korea or China or whomever challenges US global dominance. It's that simple.

yes, i understand cynicism (3, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745690)

and cynicism is a fine philosophy until you figure out that principles actually do exist, because some people actually believe in them, and these people are the only ones who ever make a difference or matter

everyone else is as you describe: parasites playing the system, the status quo, stasis. but if the world is nothing but parasites, and no host, then the parasites die: nothing gets better, natural decay leads us to worse, and the parasites certainly won't labor to make our situation any better

so understand your place in the world because of the words you have written: a parasite, and understand why your life has no meaning or dignity

or understand there is no pride or happiness or anything of value in what you believe, and stop being such a fucking parasite

Principles exist in individuals only. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745838)

Governments do not have principles. Governments are war machines. Corporations are profit machines. The employees and soldiers have principles but thats for their personal lives and not for their work life.

You can have principles, just keep them to yourself and share them in your private life. In your public life or corporate life principles don't really exist. It's all about winning.

classic life philosophy failure (3, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746380)

so many people who believe "this is the way life is" actually believe "this is the way MY life is"

the boundaries and limitations they perceive on themselves, they think apply to other people. they don't

what principles you believe in matters. for example: ghosts don't exist. but if you believe in ghosts, it alters your behavior, and therefore, your belief in ghosts matters. if enough people believe in ghosts, human society (not the natural world, but we're not talking about that: define your terms) is altered to match this

human society is self-emergent phenomenon. it is bound only by what people believe, not just natural laws. this makes it very powerful. if i believe in clothing, cities, electrical wires, court systems... then this is what i will live in, instead of a cave. this applies to technology... and principles of society

if you believe in something like, say, human dignity, that matters. you can say human dignity doesn't exist, and that's true, according to mother nature. she'll kill you in the most brutal sudden insulting ways, and carry on in a blink, your entire existence a forgotten joke. but in the realm of human society, belief in human dignity alters behavior such that human dignity becomes a REAL (in the bounds of human society) concept. people grieve. they write songs about your passing, they build pyramids: human dignity is a principle, and its effects are palpable, and so it matters

there also exists cynics, like yourself. they don't alter society, as a consequence of their own beliefs in not mattering. they live in the shadows, feeding off the positive efforts of others. they won't contribute: they don't believe in contributing to causes, but they're happy for the clothing, the cities, the electrical wires, the sense of justice, the notion of freedom, the human conscience, that others full of belief labored to build into edifices of human society. they're dead weight, they're parasites. they'll say your life has no meaning, but they won't apply that principle to themselves. they still love to live, a life that supposedly has no meaning, according to their words: hypocrites

those laboring under beliefs and principles are defining human society are actually making substantial differences. while those who simply sit there and deny that the effort matters in the end, only define the terms under which they themselves don't matter in the end

what you believe in comes to define your reality. so if you believe in nothing, you define your existence as nothing (but not my existence). your lack of faith and belief does not limit me, only you. meaning is a proof positive venture. so if you put nothing positive forth, your meaning is emptiness. that you have chosen, not me. but if i state my meaning as something that other people can understand and grasp and coordinate with me, then our meaning in life becomes the fruit of efforts laboring under a system of belief that we define. and that becomes real. the pyramids: someone built them, because someone believed in them. this boundary of belief, or lack thereof, is the only real limitation we labor in our entire lives. that you choose to believe in nothing, and do nothing, means you leave behind nothing... but the pyramids still exist. because someone believed in them. and your lack of belief did not negate them. you've only negated anything you could have done yourself

that's your place in this world: please understand that the callous limitations you have defined in human society are only limitations on your life. but not on mine. you've described the terms in which your life is empty and without meaning, but you haven't defined the terms under which my life does have meaning. and in the end, i'm the only one who matters, because i leave something positive that others can carry on and invest in further, and so, many generations down the road, you have tremendous societal constructs that millions live under in belief in, whether they be notions of liberty, generosity, freedom, fair play, or any other positive belief. but you: you pass from the world without any consequence, or live in the shadows of the belief of others, denying they matter, and not understanding you would not enjoy certain benefits without the labors they toil under. that is what you have chosen, for yourself, but not for me

cynicism is a form of self-defined slavery, a cowardice, an emptiness, and in the end, you only limit yourself, and all i have for you is pity that you are so weak, empty, and pointless. thankfully, i do matter. and you can someday too: all you have to do is give up your self-negating cynicism

we are the Last Men (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32748134)

I believe my life is utterly meaningless, what should I do?

do what everyone does (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32748270)

drug yourself into a stupor with creature comforts: food, sex, empty banter and media, real drugs

all the time, the meaninglessness becomes a larger and larger burden, and you need larger and larger doses of your creature comfort drugs to cope

eventually you break down, and make up a meaning for your life, and believe in it. only because its less painful than meaninglessness

and if you say meaninglessness isn't painful, then you haven't built your tolerance up of your chosen creature comfort drug yet. eventually and inevitably, tolerance builds up to where the creature comfort drugs have no more effect, and you have nothing left to dull the pain, except to choose meaning, once and for all

so good luck and see you soon in the realm of meaning

Re:classic life philosophy failure (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32748226)

so many people who believe "this is the way life is" actually believe "this is the way MY life is"

There are no government principles. individuals have principles. This is why collectivist government is so dangerous.

the boundaries and limitations they perceive on themselves, they think apply to other people. they don't

I wasn't talking about people, I was talking about government.

what principles you believe in matters. for example: ghosts don't exist. but if you believe in ghosts, it alters your behavior, and therefore, your belief in ghosts matters. if enough people believe in ghosts, human society (not the natural world, but we're not talking about that: define your terms) is altered to match this

My personal beliefs have nothing to do with the behavior of governments. Governments aren't run by personal beliefs.

human society is self-emergent phenomenon. it is bound only by what people believe, not just natural laws. this makes it very powerful. if i believe in clothing, cities, electrical wires, court systems... then this is what i will live in, instead of a cave. this applies to technology... and principles of society

Government is not the place to express principles. Hitler tried that and we see the result of this. Governments are only good at war.

if you believe in something like, say, human dignity, that matters. you can say human dignity doesn't exist, and that's true, according to mother nature. she'll kill you in the most brutal sudden insulting ways, and carry on in a blink, your entire existence a forgotten joke. but in the realm of human society, belief in human dignity alters behavior such that human dignity becomes a REAL (in the bounds of human society) concept. people grieve. they write songs about your passing, they build pyramids: human dignity is a principle, and its effects are palpable, and so it matters

I don't believe in torture. I would never torture as an individual. Governments don't believe in anything but military victory. Governments do anything to win including torture.

there also exists cynics, like yourself. they don't alter society, as a consequence of their own beliefs in not mattering.

Bin Laden wants to alter society to bring it into accordance with Islam. How does the US Government treat him? How does the US Government treat cult leaders who want to alter society?

they live in the shadows, feeding off the positive efforts of others. they won't contribute: they don't believe in contributing to causes, but they're happy for the clothing, the cities, the electrical wires, the sense of justice, the notion of freedom, the human conscience, that others full of belief labored to build into edifices of human society. they're dead weight, they're parasites. they'll say your life has no meaning, but they won't apply that principle to themselves. they still love to live, a life that supposedly has no meaning, according to their words: hypocrites

Change is a violent process. Change costs lives. Unless you are willing to kill and die to bring it about, don't tell other people they aren't contributing or don't do this or that.

those laboring under beliefs and principles are defining human society are actually making substantial differences. while those who simply sit there and deny that the effort matters in the end, only define the terms under which they themselves don't matter in the end

Unless you are willing to kill or die for those beliefs why does any of this matter? Lets be realistic here, most people are just trying to survive and live to see tomorrow and the next day. We aren't freedom fighters, we aren't terrorists, we aren't patriots, we aren't gangsters or members of militias. And the people who are these things are the people being tortured in secret prisons, the people being framed up and locked up, the people being killed and assassinated.

what you believe in comes to define your reality. so if you believe in nothing, you define your existence as nothing (but not my existence). your lack of faith and belief does not limit me, only you. meaning is a proof positive venture. so if you put nothing positive forth, your meaning is emptiness. that you have chosen, not me. but if i state my meaning as something that other people can understand and grasp and coordinate with me, then our meaning in life becomes the fruit of efforts laboring under a system of belief that we define. and that becomes real. the pyramids: someone built them, because someone believed in them. this boundary of belief, or lack thereof, is the only real limitation we labor in our entire lives. that you choose to believe in nothing, and do nothing, means you leave behind nothing... but the pyramids still exist. because someone believed in them. and your lack of belief did not negate them. you've only negated anything you could have done yourself

Just because I personally believe in human rights and liberty it does not give me the authority to change society or the world. And in order to create that change will take wars, revolutions, and a lot of death and bloodshed. Look at what went on in Ireland, or look at whats going on in the middle east right now. It's a violent world.

that's your place in this world: please understand that the callous limitations you have defined in human society are only limitations on your life. but not on mine. you've described the terms in which your life is empty and without meaning, but you haven't defined the terms under which my life does have meaning. and in the end, i'm the only one who matters, because i leave something positive that others can carry on and invest in further, and so, many generations down the road, you have tremendous societal constructs that millions live under in belief in, whether they be notions of liberty, generosity, freedom, fair play, or any other positive belief. but you: you pass from the world without any consequence, or live in the shadows of the belief of others, denying they matter, and not understanding you would not enjoy certain benefits without the labors they toil under. that is what you have chosen, for yourself, but not for me

I'm a survivor. If you want to be a change agent go ahead. Change agents typically don't have long lives and typically die violent deaths.

cynicism is a form of self-defined slavery, a cowardice, an emptiness, and in the end, you only limit yourself, and all i have for you is pity that you are so weak, empty, and pointless. thankfully, i do matter. and you can someday too: all you have to do is give up your self-negating cynicism

Cowardice? Maybe. But it's none of all that other stuff. Most people just want to survive and be happy and cannot concern themselves about changing anything. Do you know why? The people who try to change the world are the first people to be hunted down by the inquisition. You really don't know, because if you did you'd be cynical too.

you're quite deluded (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32748312)

you don't even understand that what you complain about is the only thing that makes your life possible

without government, there is no civilization. without civilization, there is no little earnest you tapping away at a computer describing government in hilariously stilted terminology

i understand that you fear government. you have a nice list of downsides, all of which are real and i do not deny and i can add to even

now i'd like you to be intellectually honest and examine the upside of government, which through defect in intelligence, perception, or due to massive propaganda, you currently fail to conceive or understand

Re:Governments don't have principles. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32745712)

The ignorance of some /. posters never ceases to amaze me. You give an opinion yet never state any proof or cite any references.

@AnonymousCoward (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746042)

The ignorance of some /. posters never ceases to amaze me. You give an opinion yet never state any proof or cite any references.

The USA has supported dictatorships which have abused human rights. The USA has used and will continue to use human rights abuses such as torture as a tactic to achieve victory. If you think my statements are made in ignorance, why don't you explain why the secret prisons where torture goes on exists at all? Why don't you explain why free speech doesn't really matter or why not even the Constitution is allowed to get in the war of military success?

"The USA has supported dictatorships" (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747918)

which is wrong, and we should fight that

but you seem to be suggesting that the existence of this fact is a permanent limitation on our ideals, and a reason to stop fighting for what we believe is right

you use the weight of the world to crush you, and then you suggest to others they will only be crushed as well, so they should just stop fighting and accept

and so you are part of the problem you complain about: you see abuse, and you accept it

all that is required for evil to triumph in this world is for good men to do nothing. you are arguing for us to do nothing. so i say to you: shut up, and stop evangelizing your ignorant cynicism

fight for what is right, or fuck off. but don't tell us it is pointless to fight. then you are just as bad as the evils you dislike: you help them, by accepting them

Re:in this thread (1)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745760)

Nice. If I had mod points I'd give them.

Re:in this thread (0, Flamebait)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746634)

It's a lot of hypocritical bullshit unless he actually says what he's doing different, which he does not.

you don't who i am or what i am doing (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746836)

but thanks for the vote of no confidence

that you vote no confidence, without even knowing me, actually says more about you than it does about me

Re:you don't who i am or what i am doing (0, Offtopic)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747042)

Still not hearing what you're doing different, which is why I 'don't [sic] who [you are] or what [you are] doing'. Kind of self-fulfilling, isn't it?

there's an assumption there (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747204)

that i need to justify myself to you. who the hell are you? on what authority are you empowered to judge me?

i'm quite confident in who i am and what i am doing, and i need no approval or justification from you to know that

especially since you go out of your way to offer me your disapproval, without even knowing a damn thing about me. like i said: that act says a lot about your character, and none about mine

the world has enough negative judgmental assholes. try something new friend, its a tired boring game, and you only hurt yourself in the end

Re:there's an assumption there (0, Offtopic)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747386)

Actually, yes, you do need to have ground to stand on before you criticize others. If I a redneck dumbass who knows nothing about art walks into a gallery and says 'this painting is awful!' Nobody will take him seriously. If a professor of visual arts with years of study, practice, and knowledge walks in and says 'this painting is awful!' People will take notice, want to know why, etc. because that person has standing, has some educated background from which to offer useful criticism rather than a base reaction.

You say you're confident, but offer no substance, you're just dodging because you're full of shit.

I go out of my way to offer disapproval?! YOU STARTED A FUCKING THREAD TO TELL EVERYBODY WHAT LAZY GRIPERS THEY WERE! And now you're dodging any explanation of why you don't fall into your own sweeping generalization (criticizing me for not knowing you while at the same time denying to say anything about yourself when directly challenged to do so! self-fulfilling fucking prophecy), and you're trying to act like a fucking victim calling me a negative judgmental asshole over something YOU FUCKING STARTED to be FUCKING JUDGMENTAL of everybody else! You're going on my foes list you hypocrite asshole.

this is called appeal to authority (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747526)

you can't or are unable to judge my words on their merit or lack thereof

you only give your approval/ disapproval based on my standing as some sort of authority or not

i think that logic and reason is a superior way to judge the value of someone's words according to their social hierarchy status, especially in A FACELESS INTERNET THREAD, but that's just me

Re:in this thread (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747362)

Although I agree with your sentiments, I don't see a way to implement them. I mean the war on drugs is a direct assault on personal liberty and those that try and defend their rights are assaulted. I'm not for murder, but people who find drugs to be acceptable and then are confronted by authority who then defend themselves are considered murders and villains; however they are just practicing what you preach. In a psychotic way the drug cartels are defenders of liberty, but you wouldn't advocate us taking up arms to defend that freedom; the freedom to consume what we choose to.

So yeah, I agree with your ideas, but I don't think you've thought them through. We sacrifice liberty every day, not for security, but because it is easier than taking personal responsibility.

drug use destroys freedom (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747820)

addiction is bars inside the mind. in orwell's deepest darkest fantasies he couldn't derive a worse authoritarian government that destroys more freedom than drug addiction does... well, unless he had that government forcing people to use heroin or meth. drug use has destroyed more freedom in this world than the entire history of human government

the fight against drugs is the fight for freedom, and like all fights for freedom, its a maintenance function, and it will never end

yes, some people freely choose to do drugs. just like some people take the infinite possibilities of life... and choose suicide. is the choice to remove your own freedoms a choice to be respected?

that's a deep philosophical question right there: does freedom include the freedom to choose to remove your own freedom?

if someone freely chooses to be a slave, do you respect that choice?

me, personally i do not respect that: choices to remove freedom are never done in a vacuum, and often wind up removing other people's freedoms as well

and so, i deny people the 'right" to destory their own freedom. and in this way, i increase freedom in this world. and so i call suicide wrong, and so i call drug use (the most highly addictive/ inebriating drugs, not something mild like marijuana) wrong as well

drug use is just slow motion suicide, it is self-destruction of freedom. and if you don't see that, you don't know much about drugs

Re:in this thread (2, Interesting)

jc42 (318812) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747502)

yes, corporations and authoritarianism threaten your freedoms. the only question is: what the fuck are YOU going to do about it?

Well, personally, I intend to continue doing what I (and a few thousand others, many of whom are friends of mine) have been doing: I'll continue to find ways to develop the Net into something that, as John Gilmore so elegantly put it, treats censorship as packet damage and routes around it. This approach can be (and has been) done at all levels of the hardware and software stack. Identify the damage, and find alternate ways of getting the data through. Don't worry about whether the contents are "good" or "bad"; that's for the endpoints in the exchange to decide. As a developer of the Net's components, our job has been to just Get The Data Through.

It was understood from the start that a lot of damaged or lost data packets are because of hostile action. Dealing with enemy action was an important part of [D]ARPA's original requirements for the ARPAnet. Remember that it was built mostly with military funding. The idea was to build a comm system that would Get The Data Through despite efforts of assorted enemies to block it. Those enemies were understood to be government agencies, typically of a different government. But the developers didn't spend too much time on such mundane details. It was understood that there were assorted forces, natural and man-made, that would attempt to block or destroy data in transit. Lightning, bombs and court orders can target your routers or antennas. It was the job of the developers to find (partial) solutions to this general problem and Get The Data Through.

Actually, it probably helped a lot that the developers didn't concentrate on any particular kind of "enemy". If they had done so, the result would probably be a lot less robust than what we have now.

There was one major part of the original design that hasn't been well implemented, and it's a source of a lot of our current problems: The ARPA/Internet was supposed to be multiply interconnected as much as possible. The more alternate routes there are, the more likely it is that the system can find good paths. Multiple paths means that you can route around congestion, and give faster results even during busy times. And multiple paths means that the enemy trying to block your data has a much more difficult job, since the software can find alternate paths and route around the blocking.

But this is an implementation detail. The important thing is that developers continue to work on solving the general problem of "Get The Data Through". Congestion, blown fuses, storm damage, and political censorship are all special cases of the general problem that we're trying to solve.

The best approach is to just continue working on this problem. Any tools we have to solve it will help solve the censorship problem as a side effect.

In the long run, China's attempts to limit their population's access to information will mostly hurt their own economy. To be part of the future world, China needs strong network connectivity to the whole world. The better that connectivity is, the more difficult it will be for them to block their citizens' access to information of any sort. This isn't because of explicit attempts to block censorship; it's because a good network is so interconnected that the software can always find a good way to Get The Data Through.

mod parent +6 (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32748028)

someone out there gets it

fuck freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32747948)

I'm not going to do a thing about it. The status quo provides enough distraction from the horrors perpetrated by our monstrous species that I can live comfortably numbed to my guilt.

you've chosen self-aware parasitism (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32748140)

since you aren't a hypocrite about what you have chosen, i have no argument with you

enjoy your creature comforts

just a warning: the distractions lose their power to distract over time. you need stronger and stronger doses to get the same effect. meaninglessness becomes a burden. a guy can live in a penthouse palace and have all the hookers and blow he wants, and yet hate himself and feel emptier inside than he ever had

the relationship between meaning and happiness is strong

anybody thinking NSA etc.. not using this? (1)

kubitus (927806) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745256)

we have a new CIO from the US. First thing: all routers and switches to be from one certain US company.

'

Next thing all PCs to be from one US company, as well as servers etc..

- ever heard of a Trojan boot loader?

there was once a nice article in popular science describing a made-up Xerox making Super8 images of all photocopies

which was rented to the USSR embassy. ( and they did not say to whom else )

-

Think they stopped doing this?

For us little people (2, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745262)

For the ethical investor, there are two possible responses to this problem. One is divestment from all ethically challenging situations.

OK, I'll have to pull my money out of all investments because I can find an ethical problem with everything. That doesn't server me. Selfish? Tell me that when I'm older and on government aid - your tax money - because I don't have a pot to piss in.

The other is engagement and advocacy, using financial leverage to work for positive change in industry practices and even government regulation.

Nobody will listen to a nobody with only a few thousand dollars in their mutual funds. They won't even listen to someone with a few million invested. Giant multi-billion dollar multi-national corporations really don't have to listen to anyone.

How much business is Google really losing? China is a Third World country. Most of their population is a bunch of farmers living in poverty. Advertising to most of them is pointless. And the Chinese in the big cities? How much is that business worth.

And in the process of this "protest" they're getting quite a bit of good PR.

Re:For us little people (1)

hierofalcon (1233282) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745582)

Corporations have annual meetings. Each company has a process by which you can get a shareholder proposal presented at the meeting. Sometimes there are thresholds for how many shares you have to own, but these are usually very low. There is also usually a requirement to actually show up at the meeting to present the proposal, which entails additional cost.

Granted, in most cases there aren't enough votes to get a stockholder proposal passed, but sometimes it happens. Regardless, there is a mechanism in place for large companies to listen. You will actually have to be a stockholder rather than owning some tiny fraction of a mutual fund, but it can be done. Every stockholders vote counts the same. If you think you have a legitimate beef, write a well written proposal as free of hyperbole as you can and present it. You might be surprised. The results are binding on the corporation, whether they like the outcome or not.

And yes, I know that most mutual funds vote with management and there are a vast number of stockholders that just vote with management as well. But there are a few of us who actually take the time to look at the proposals, read about the directors who are up for election and try to only vote for people who might be an asset rather than are holding a honorary position or have ossified in their position and need removed from office and go play with their grandchildren. There is an increasing movement to try to reign in corporate handouts to management as well in terms of stock options and golden parachute packages, but those move slowly. If you fail one year, try to listen to the comments at the meeting and do better next year. Remember that you will get much further with actual evidence of problems rather than generalizations.

Re:For us little people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32746346)

I guess they are as third world as the US was in the late 19th century.
Wait for the 500 million middle class people, with middle class expectations change that.

Re:For us little people (1)

mckinnsb (984522) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746522)

For the ethical investor, there are two possible responses to this problem. One is divestment from all ethically challenging situations.

OK, I'll have to pull my money out of all investments because I can find an ethical problem with everything. That doesn't server me. Selfish? Tell me that when I'm older and on government aid - your tax money - because I don't have a pot to piss in.

Let's just cut to the quick here, RE: your comment title. She isn't referring to the "little people", or individual investors. By "ethical investor", she is referring to people who have control over millions of dollars of investment money - people who work in the financial sector who may not necessarily be millionaires themselves - a.k.a institutional investors, or the people who run the mutual funds which fund your retirement.

I agree that here, she uses the term "ethically challenging" in a broad way, but given the context of her testimony, I think that it's very clear that she is referring to investments which may undermine free speech, and our belief in it. There are many, many lucrative investments which do not do either.

The other is engagement and advocacy, using financial leverage to work for positive change in industry practices and even government regulation.

Nobody will listen to a nobody with only a few thousand dollars in their mutual funds. They won't even listen to someone with a few million invested. Giant multi-billion dollar multi-national corporations really don't have to listen to anyone.

That's not what she means by 'leverage'. By leverage, she means financial laws which provide incentives or deterrents for people engaging in 'free speech' and 'censored' investments, respectively.

How much business is Google really losing? China is a Third World country. Most of their population is a bunch of farmers living in poverty. Advertising to most of them is pointless. And the Chinese in the big cities? How much is that business worth. And in the process of this "protest" they're getting quite a bit of good PR.

Whoa there buddy. China isn't quite a Third World country. Parts of it may resemble one, but they've got a full fledged middle class and everything now, a pretty hefty GDP, and a few cities that are more modern than any in the United States.

In addition, lots of those 'farmers living in poverty' that you refer to are picking up shovels or pick-axes and are headed to the big city, getting jobs in construction, demolition, or in factories. There is a full-scale urban migration going on, and although some people are purposefully holding on to their rural lifestyles, few farmers in China are ignorant of the massive amount of change that is being effected in their country by foriegn investment. A friend of mine, who has spent extensive time in China, says that there are two common expressions in China: "xian dai hua" and "luo huo". The first means "Modern", and the second "Lagging behind." These statements are spoken not only in the streets of Shenzhen, but also the in the farms of Western China. Lots of farmers want to be a part of the "xian dai hua" world, and advertising to them is not pointless at all; especially in this type of transition period, where a positive mark can have an impact that will last for generations.

Finally, she has a real point in suggesting that we are too easily compromising our own ethics by bowing to the wishes of the Chinese government, when in reality, dollars coming from (mostly) Western foreign investments - from cultures that support and recognize the value of free speech - are the ones empowering said Chinese government. We should take a slight step back, because if the way in which we spend our dollars can somehow effect a better life for the Chinese citizen and net us profit along the way, we should absolutely do so.

Leave the USA (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32745274)

As shown in your 2000 elections [wikipedia.org] , 48.4% of americans are intelligent. Let those 48.4% move north to Canada or south to Mexico and let the now-corrupt USA rot away. Your founding fathers would be ashamed of today's USA and so should you.

Re:Leave the USA (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745856)

Oh yeah, the "Intelligent" Americans are dying to get into Mexico.

You're an even bigger idiot for assuming that 48.4% of Americans voted for Bush. No, 48.4% of Americans who voted, voted for Bush.

Also, it's Americans, not americans. Do you ignore your spellcheck on purpose? I'm going to assume you don't have one, get one.

Go back to the hole you came from Troll. Who the fuck mods this prick Insightful?

Re:Leave the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32745910)

The mods probably read the "Your founding fathers would be ashamed of today's USA and so should you" part.

You were just too busy with your "Americans-with-capital-A" and voting percentage facts to actually understand the true meaning of what I said.

Re:Leave the USA (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746008)

You have no meaning, you're being a partisan dip shit.
If you want to complain about someone destroying the Constitution that our Founding Fathers have set up, look no further than the Obama administration and the current "Democratic" congress.

I don't like Bush, I don't like Obama, and I don't like Clinton either.

mod 3o3n (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32745302)

to predict *BSD's hobby. It was all Assholes, as they God, let's fucking - Netcraft has to survive at all

parallels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32745374)

Congress Mulls China's Networked Authoritarianism....and finds that it closely parallels their own turn-over-as-much-taxpayer-cash-as-possible-to-multinational-corporations authoritarianism :)

(yes, i _am_ saying that once elected they do as they damn well please)

I've been saying this for years (4, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745402)

I've been saying this same essential thing for years, though instead of calling it "networked authoritarianism" what I've called it is "cyberpunk corporate feudalism".

The corporations control everything in today's world. Sure, the governments still have their military, but corporations operate within the nation states largely autonomously and often in partially parasitic relationships: if the corporation doesn't like the environment, it leaves.

Corporate relationships change much in the same way as nation-states and fiefdoms did during the Middle Ages: smaller gets absorbed by larger, larger breaks into smaller, and the larger ones fight against each other - but for everyone looking on, nothing substantial really tends to change.

States, and the people living within them, don't really have much (if any) sway over these corporations. They operate under their own rules (only in so much as they don't get caught). In essence, they're operating as the countries of the later Middle Ages did towards the Holy See - except the State is God. They'll do whatever they can get away with, and if the state finds out or protests, they'll just leave - or take over.

corporations are the invisible hand. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745678)

The corporations and government go together as hand in glove. The corporation is merely the glove and the government the hand that controls the glove. The corporation's CEO very well could be a spy for some government. So you wonder why some corporations don't care about the American people? Maybe because they are owned and controlled by foreign powers.

The rest of what you say is correct. But it's economic espionage, economic warfare, corporate warfare, and the dollar is the ultimate weapon at this time.

It's just election year bullshit (1)

jfoobaz (1844794) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745408)

Nobody in congress really cares about China's policies towards their own people. It's just something they like to trot out occasionally to show they believe in liberty.

They won't ever actually do anything but pass a non-binding resolution condemning the situation, after which they'll get back to making it easier for us to buy cheap shit from China.

Next logical step. (2, Insightful)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745428)

The government is full of competitors, people who fight for their "right" to rule. The next logical step is to force your views on the playing field and try to protect the integrity of your memes.

Other politicians are risk enough, but it's the vast number of citizens who can cause real change if they wanted. That's why politicians want the people who take orders from them to be the only ones with guns. Now that the internet is a serious threat because of the power it gives to people that shadows the threat of guns.

Re:Next logical step. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745614)

The government is full of competitors, people who fight for their "right" to rule. The next logical step is to force your views on the playing field and try to protect the integrity of your memes.

Other politicians are risk enough, but it's the vast number of citizens who can cause real change if they wanted. That's why politicians want the people who take orders from them to be the only ones with guns. Now that the internet is a serious threat because of the power it gives to people that shadows the threat of guns.

At this point change is not an option and might not necessarily be for the better. Change usually requires civil war and then revolution. This usually requires millions of people to fight and die. This instability can lead to foreign countries like Russia and China and their agents taking over key stations in government. It could lead to a foreign country taking over the USA and then we'd really be in for a change when the national language is changed to mandarin or russian, even french.

Re:Next logical step. (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746080)

If another country took over the USA, I would wager that it would cause an influx of new words relating to government and politics and the new rulers would either learn English or get displaced by revolution or new invaders.

See Norman conquest.

Re:Next logical step. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746146)

If another country took over the USA, I would wager that it would cause an influx of new words relating to government and politics and the new rulers would either learn English or get displaced by revolution or new invaders.

See Norman conquest.

Thats a possibility but it would still mean millions of Americans would have to die. And there is no guarantee that the new government will be better than the old government. The new government might see us all as slaves. The new government might be like Hitlers government, or Stalins.

Re:Next logical step. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32748002)

The government is full of competitors, people who fight for their "right" to PARTY!

Fixed that for you:)

little blue numbers (4, Informative)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745570)

Western companies making a buck off evil? Nothing new.

Infamous Auschwitz Tattoo Began as an IBM Number

Auschwitz Phone Book Shows IBM Hollerith Buro Phone # 4496
In August 1943, a timber merchant from Bendzin, Poland, arrived at Auschwitz. He was among a group of 400 inmates, mostly Jews. First, a doctor examined him briefly to determine his fitness for work. His physical information was noted on a medical record. Second, his full prisoner registration was completed with all personal details. Third, his name was checked against the indices of the Political Section to see if he would be subjected to special punishment. Finally, he was registered in the Labor Assignment Office and assigned a characteristic five-digit IBM Hollerith number, 44673.
The five-digit Hollerith number was part of a custom punch card system devised by IBM to track prisoners in Nazi concentration camps, including the slave labor at Auschwitz.
The Polish timber merchant's punch card number would follow him from labor assignment to labor assignment as Hollerith systems tracked him and his availability for work, and reported the data to the central inmate file eventually kept at Department DII. Department DII of the SS Economics Administration in Oranienburg oversaw all camp slave labor assignments, utilizing elaborate IBM systems.
Later in the summer of 1943, the Polish timber merchant's same five-digit Hollerith number, 44673, was tattooed on his forearm. Eventually, during the summer of 1943, all non-Germans at Auschwitz were similarly tattooed.

http://www.thecuttingedgenews.com/index.php?article=663 [thecuttingedgenews.com]

Evil money can be washed and become good. (2, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746086)

There is no real good and evil dollar. There is just dollars. In the end the team which has the most of them decides what is good and what is evil for the people who have the least of them.

Re:Evil money can be washed and become good. (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746348)

There is no real good or evil human, it is just a human...... I don't know for you, but for me you sound kind of unconvincing.

Re:Evil money can be washed and become good. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32748262)

There are good and evil humans. Corporations aren't human. Dollars aren't human. The corporation and the dollar are weapons used by good or evil humans. Depending on the team that controls the best weapons decides the fate of the world.

Re:Evil money can be washed and become good. (2, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746436)

There is no real good and evil dollar. There is just dollars. In the end the team which has the most of them decides what is good and what is evil for the people who have the least of them.

If I'm a manufacturer of hand tools and someone buys one of my axes and uses it to chop up his family, that's awful but I'm really not at fault here. I can put a sticker on future axes that says "Please don't chop up your family with this tool" but it's not my problem. If I'm a manufacturer of industrial shredders and there's a rich gentleman in Columbia who has one installed on his estate and my technicians keep having to get sent out to service it because there's a lot of meat and gore stuck in the thing, this is the point where I get to question just what the hell I'm supporting here. Whatever that guy's doing on his estate, I'm enabling it. Plausible deniability? Bullshit.

Re:little blue numbers (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746324)

The funny part is that you, and me, and everybody else has 4-digit hex number. For example, your number is: 513215 (decimal). What do you think will be changed in another hundred year? Maybe instead of hex base, it will be 256-base system? The gods are laughing.

R & D (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32745832)

The US Government is outsourcing its R&D to the Chinese. How long before they don't even need the kill switch ?

Out on a limb? Hardly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32745904)

Is Congress genuinely concerned or are they just curious how they can make "networked authoritarianism" work for them?"

I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb to say the latter.

The only cowards are the chinese government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32746260)

The only cowards are the chinese government who use censorship to try to protect their power. The truth will set you free.

Someone decide... (1)

drumcat (1659893) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746498)

What companies are acceptable investments... does anyone know? For example, if I have stock in China Mobile, am I defending a totalitarian monster, or am I encouraging a freer market in a society that is now being opened much more by investment? Am I good for bad that I own stock... oh, you're not sure either?

we should all help china (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746544)

We can all help China by running proxies on our computers. If everybody (or a critical mass) cooperates, there is no way for the Chinese government to block proxy IP addresses (or they will need to effectively shut themselves off from the rest of the world, and that will not happen of course). This could be similar to Tor, except more efficient, because only one hop is needed.
Also, the development of software for encryption or steganography (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steganography) could help to make network traffic transparent.

Evil Nation (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746806)

I see no reason America should allow any business with China. Their perpetual crimes against Tibet as well as their ongoing use of slave labor should be enough incentive for America to cut the phone lines and isolate China completely. As far as debts to China we should not pay them.

China ain't alone (1)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747284)

"Under such circumstances, Chinese industry leaders have little incentive and less encouragement to resist government demands that often contradict even China's own laws and constitution."

Look in your own backyard, lady.

How much you wnat to bet (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747460)

Google is one of those investors in Baidu? Through a trust of course to hide it. They won't lose a thing..

They aren't real board members (2, Funny)

maiki (857449) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747522)

We already settled this. The Western board members aren't real; they're rented [slashdot.org] .

Who are these companies? (1)

virb67 (1771270) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747896)

Is there any web resource that tracks and lists these unscrupulous companies doing business with human rights violators? It would be nice to publicly out these guys.
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